MASSAGE and BODYWORK
MASSAGE and BODYWORK works on all levels: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, making a positive difference in every dog's life. Through an understanding of overall structure, balance and movement, the entire animal is considered. Various massage techniques are utilized, including:
- TuiNa: one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is a manual therapy that stimulates the body's defensive (wei) chi to promote energy movement in the meridians and the muscles. This is accomplished through range of motion, traction, massage (kneading, rolling, pressing, vibrational techniques) and acupressure.
- Feldenkrais: an effective approach to enhancement of posture, balance, movement and behavior. It is especially useful in retraining neural pathways and proprioceptive self-awareness. Moshé Feldenkrais also asserted that improving movement may have a direct influence on cognitive and emotional function, especially anxiety.
- Acupressure: according to TCM theory, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points along the meridians to rebalance yin, yang and chi. These "acupoints" may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom.
- Opposition stretches and both passive and active range of motion are also utilized.
What massage and bodywork can do:
- increase circulation and oxygenation to the cells of the body
- expedite removal of wastes and toxins
- stimulate the immune system
- decrease pain, soreness and stiffness
- restore supple muscle tone
- improve muscle function
- stimulate nerve function to improve proprioception
- re-train neural pathways
- increase flexibility and range of motion
- improve socialization skills
Conditions that can benefit from massage and bodywork include:
- compensatory patterns due to structural imbalances/poor conformation
- orthopedic diseases (e.g., hip dysplasia, spondylosis)
- neck and back injuries
- postoperative healing
- sports injuries
- hindquarter weakness
- aging and inactivity
- behavioral issues (fear, anxiety, insecurities)
- hospice care (physical, emotional and spiritual comfort through loving touch)